MTSU’s email service is making you miss vital messages

Office 365
The logo for Microsoft Office 365's Outlook email application (Microsoft)

It’s great to declutter your office for example you could get a filing cabinet for each office desk, but when it comes to software it’s a different matter. Instead of using filing cabinets to store their files, some offices have decided to turn their attentions towards a document management software from somewhere like FileCenter, ( which can make filing and finding documents a lot easier. It also means that you can free up space in your office by getting rid of your filing cabinet, as you will no longer need to have a place to store all of your paper documents. However, it all depends on what your employer prefers, as some software can come with problems of its own. In case you haven’t noticed, Microsoft’s Office 365 service, which hosts MTSU’s email accounts, has an awful feature that is most likely making you miss out on a ton of important messages. If you have office 365 reporting, this feature may already be disabled, check your settings to be sure of its deactivation.

If you are planning on using Office 365 though, then it’s important that you make sure that you know what you are doing. This way you can get the most out of it, and you will find that your working day becomes a lot easier. If you are brand new to Office 365, then it might be worthwhile looking at this guide here (this is a useful guide to getting the most out of office 365)!

The Clutter folder is a new feature to the email service, and it is slowly becoming my mortal enemy. You see, as a member of several campus organizations and a senior on track to graduate in December, I get an above-average amount of emails to my MTmail account. Due to this new feature, which randomly sorts messages into a separate inbox that isn’t a part of the main inbox of Apple’s iPhone Mail app, I’ve been missing out on a multitude of important emails from professors, advisors and peers.

Microsoft says it’s a program designed to flag the messages “you’re most likely to ignore” and may take “a few days to fully adapt to your preferences.” Well, I’m here to tell you that it does a sucky job at sorting messages, and it still hasn’t straightened itself out in the several months it’s been active.

Upon browsing through my Clutter folder, here are some types of messages I’ve missed this semester: advising reminders, final project instructions, scholarship notifications, FAFSA reminders, messages from professors and student organization advisors and university employee notices.

Now these are just the vital emails I’ve missed. I’ve also missed messages about: department surveys, parking lot closures, Sidelines writer inquiries, emails from classmates, information about the It’s On Us anti-sexual assault campaign, community service opportunities, baseball game information, messages from the Fraternity & Sorority Life Office and many communications from student organizations.

This is an irritating problem on multiple levels. These vital notifications could have potentially harmed my GPA, made me miss out on scholarships and financial aid or held up my registration process for the fall. The other messages potentially caused me to miss numerous campus involvement opportunities, and, as an editor of this publication, important events I could send our reporters to cover.

Luckily, I knew about this folder and was able to find these messages. However, a less vigilant student’s GPA, finances and/or campus involvement could be put in jeopardy all because of a useless email feature. With MTSU officials’ struggle to get students involved on campus and their unquenchable thirst for blood money, I feel as if this small feature is potentially doing more harm to the university than good.

As a campus org leader, I think this feature is dampening the university’s and students’ communication with the campus community. You never know when you’ll decide to head over and watch a baseball game. Maybe you’ll wanna sit in on the latest Cinema Club screening. Tonight, you might wanna get a little a little crazy and fill out that FAFSA thing (When is that due again?). Or who knows, you could just neglect all responsibilities and watch Netflix all night. However, you won’t get to choose your weekly involvement if your campus email service is preventing you from seeing those messages.

So if you’re a student, I’d recommend you head here to learn how to turn off the Clutter feature. If you’re a faculty member, I’d suggest you let university officials know your department’s messages to student are being cockblocked by Bill Gates, or, you know, something along those lines.

For more unnecessary ramblings like this, follow John Connor Coulston on Twitter at @JCCoulston.

For more news, follow us at, on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter at @Sidelines_News.

To contact News Editor Amanda Freuler, email

Previous MTSU Football Blue-White Game 2016 | Photo Gallery
Next Match Records to showcase student musicians at Soulshine Pizza Factory


  1. bjsummer16
    May 11, 2016

    I agree, MTSU’s email service, Microsoft 365’s new clutter folder is having me miss out on a lot of my emails. Until I read your article, I did not know how to check the clutter folder. Thank you! I originally thought that there was a problem and MTSU or Microsoft would fix it, but I guess not. My MTSU email account is my secondary email account and not used as often as my Gmail, however I would be nice to see all my emails that come from a MTSU email account.
    If MTSU wants more campus involvement how will that happen if our emails from the school are being sent to the clutter file. Wouldn’t the smartest thing to do is to allow all emails that have an MTSU address attached to it come through into your inbox, email addresses you frequently email to and receive emails from, and lastly other email addresses go into the clutter folder? I understand that I am not the smartest cookie in the jar but common sense would be to go that route.
    Like you, after viewing my clutter file I have missed out on plenty of opportunities involving campus activities and have argued with colleagues about them not responding to my emails when they really have and the email was sent to the clutter folder. I just got use to the long email address and Microsoft 365 now this.

  2. ejamtsufall16
    September 6, 2016

    To me, Office 365’s Clutter folder feature is somewhat helpful. The algorithm does a good job of sifting through my e-mails and moving the ones that I never intend to look at into a somewhat hidden folder. Adobe’s constant reminders of how the Creative Cloud has updated are lost completely on me. Any mail from my advisors or the Bursar’s office always end up in the right place, so I have not had any reason to make complaints about this feature.
    However, I can see where the author of the article is coming from. I would certainly think that the feature was obsolete if my not-so-unimportant e-mails were being placed somewhere that most people wouldn’t even think to look, especially when the feature’s purpose is to make sure the important and unimportant e-mails are in their right place.
    I think Office 365 is a decent e-mail system for students to use. It is easy to figure out, easy to customize and allows me to receive e-mail easily through the application on my phone. I’m not sure how CUSTOMS at MTSU works these days, but maybe a quick run through of the system should be offered to incoming students, especially if they haven’t used Office 365. This would hopefully prevent people from not being aware of important features, such as the Clutter folder!